Omggg seriously you guys I feel like crap-o-la. My stinkin’ kid and his kid germs got me sick. I’m nauseated and I can’t breathe yet my nose is dripping non-stop, my head is pounding, and my contacts keep popping out of my eyes because they’re watering so badly. Appetizing, no? So who wants to talk about a blood orange tart?
So last week, before I got sick, I was home with my ill child and made this little beauty. Seriously, how lovely are these blood oranges? I picked up a bag of them expecting to make a sorbet or something, but while perusing Epicurious I saw a blood orange tart, and remembered one I saw over at the smitten. And after this ringing success, how could I resist? It’s a free-form tart, more like a crostata, which is great, since I lost the bottom to my tart pan after using it as a cake plate many moons ago. Some imbecile thought it would be funny to smash my carefully crafted cake into the birthday girl’s face and then fling my pan bottom frisbee-style over the back fence into the great unknown. (There was a lot of beer pong involved. Yeah.)
So anyway. Crostata. The pastry is a farily straight-forward processor deal. As always, I ended up adding a tad more water due to the fact that it’s always so freaking dry out. But then, pastry’s like that. So flour, sugar, salt, butter, and a bit o’ water into the processor, pulse, dump, knead, wrap, and rest for 30 minutes. Roll into an 11 inch round, and chill for another 15 minutes. I’m super duper lazy and absolutely hate cleaning up bench flour, so I rolled it straight out onto my foil lined and Pam-ed baking sheet. After it’s chilling, flip it over onto your board and peel the foil off to make sure it doesn’t stick. Put the foil back on your sheet, Pam again, and put the pastry back. Alternately, you can just roll it out between plastic wrap or parchment, but plastic wrap’s a bitch to deal with and parchment’s expensive. So yeah, that’s my cheap and lazy way.
So while all this chilling and resting was going on, I supremed five oranges, and peeled and sliced crosswise two more. You’re supposed to end up with a cup of supremes, but I only had seven oranges, and I’m pretty sure I was slightly short. Regardless, I arranged them over the pastry, and then added some butter over the fruit. The recipe says to thinly slice a tablespoon; I opted to use the large side of a box grater to grate over my remaining tablespoon of butter. You then fold the crust up over the fruit, and because I was short on filling, I just ended up with more crust. The other upside to a crostata versus and tart–higher pastry to filling ratio, which I’m obviously not complaining about. Egg wash the crust, then sprinkle over some sugar. I then not-so-artfully arranged the sliced oranges over the top, and then added more sugar.
And here comes the part where reading the recipe before hand is crucial: freeze the tart until solid, at least four hours. If you’re not new around here, this is where you would expect me to bitch and moan about how I fucked up again and I needed to take this tart to a dinner party in an hour. But hey guess what, sometimes I actually know what I’m doing! My point is actually that this is probably the most important step of recipe cooking: Read the freaking thing before you get started. Before you even grab your keys to go to the store for ingredients. Because trust me, if you want to avoid kitchen hysteria, knowing what you’re getting yourself into beforehand is key. That way, when you inevitably end up effing shit up and eating your stash of baking chocolate and washing it down with Two Buck Chuck at some point, you can blame the recipe. Cause it obviously wasn’t your fault. You read the recipe first.
So I did all the prep while Parker played with Lorenzo, and it froze while he ate lunch and took his afternoon nap. (One perk about sick kids–they take AWESOME naps!) So when I finally pulled it out of the oven, I was slighty disappointed that after all that anticipation, it was too juicy and had leaked through the pastry.
So since it wasn’t quite up to being served to other people, I sliced that bitch up before it had cooled and stuffed my face. You’re supposed to serve it with salted caramel sauce, which would have been lovely, but I didn’t have any cream on hand. But you know, honey-ed Greek yougurt wasn’t half bad.
The orange filling was pretty good, but that crust. Oh man, when I was sprinking the tablespoon of sugar over it, I was thinking that it was kind of a lot. Boy am I glad I didn’t listen to myself and followed the recipe. The sugar got all caramelized and cruch-ity crisp-ity and oh maaaan over the buttery pastry it was so good. So good, in fact, that I kept breaking off pieces and dipping it into my yougurt container. Thirty minutes later? A bloody massacre, if you will…
What? I think I knew I was going to get sick, so I had to indulge before I ended up like this, unable to taste anythng at all. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.